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Old 4th January 2009, 05:35 PM   #11
Floyd
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So we are saying in 25 mph wind we need a 1 metre wide board and a 70 cm fin for best performance ???

Formula has without doubt best "overall" performance. No question. But you are saying this is still case in F5 + .

mmmmm ???

If this is case something is amiss somwhere ???
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Old 4th January 2009, 08:56 PM   #12
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Interesting points. A few years ago a danish pro-sailor went into a formula race on a small slalom board in protest of the race comitee selecting formula for quite high winds (20-30 knots). He beat everybody to the windward mark mostly due to seriousely higher speed and control. Today I guess it won't be possible. I've seen formula sailors in complete control in +25 knots on 10 m2 rigs beating everything up- and downwind. Five years ago I could kick the ass on any formula board on a reach if I had enough power on my 9.4 rig and Carve 145 freeride board. Today I guess I would find that quite hard. A modern formula is a very efficient and optimized racing machine in a very vide range of conditions. Anyway in pure slalom races I guess you won't see the top sailors competing on formula gear (except maybe in very marginal winds). A one knot in difference may be crucial and around the marks a slalom board definitely performs better - a formula still jibes horrible...

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Old 5th January 2009, 03:45 AM   #13
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Aco,

By just glancing at the official Formula rules, here is what I found.

Must be ISAF approved Formula Boards -

Hull - no more than 100.5 cm wide
Boom - no more than 301 cm long
Sail - no larger than 12.5 m
Fin - no longer than 70 cm
Dagger board - not allowed

I guess if Starboard wanted to register an IS 144 or 150 as Formula boads, they could be raced in the class, but that isn't the case at the moment.

However, if *board thought or found that the IS design was faster than their formula board, they would dump their formula design and rename their large IS boards.
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Old 5th January 2009, 06:28 AM   #14
Floyd
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Thats probably because its rarely 25mph + at races. Not over entire race and certainly not over a series.
In 25 mph+ extra width and depth of fin is simply redundant drag.Thats why Formulas top out at low 30 knots or so in any wind and its why slalom (even large ones) can get upto 40 knots.
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Old 5th January 2009, 07:21 AM   #15
SeanAUS120
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I've raced an iSonic 125 with 9m against FW boards in a 20 knot upwind race; and (my Dutch friends might be able to correct/contribute to this) but I believe Ben Van Der Steen rocked up at a local Dutch FW event in 2008 and raced against everyone on the bigger Exocet slalom kit.

It taught me a lot about about the comparison. One thing you guys have missed, and if you go sailing on your big slalom kit in a breeze with a GPS you can confirm this is that slalom boards considerably drop their top end speed (TES) when they point. Its very common even for average sailors to achieve 35 knots TES even on bigger slalom kit but this is usually when they are running on a broad angle. A good angle for TES on FW is about 120 degrees, not sure on slalom but probably similar? When you start to go upwind and point higher on slalom kit your speed drops considerably.

Sure, you can still sail faster than a FW board, but I think you'll find the comparison is about this (rough estimate):

Slalom Kit: 65 degrees upwind angle at 18-20 knots speed
FW Kit: 49 degrees upwind angle at 15-16 knots speed.

Its close. But the FW boards will still beat everything upwind. When I raced on my slalom kit I had to put in extra tacks against the FW boards and despite running much faster, the angles were too lousy to compare. Downwind it was a different story, the slalom board isn't too far away in angle suprisingly and it runs extremely fast so a top slalom sailor against an 'average' FW guy would probably beat them downwind. A top FW guy should win both upwind/downwind.

From memory, Ben Van Der Steen was able to get in the top positions on his slalom kit against the Dutch sailors on FW, however I would doubt he could ever win a race against the strong Dutch fleet. The comparison is "close", but FW still takes the cake.

If anyone is still unconvinced of this in a week or two, I might be able to get some GPS tracks of both sets of kit sailed on the same day - then we could have it on paper the real result. Would be interesting.
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Old 5th January 2009, 05:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanAUS120 View Post
From memory, Ben Van Der Steen was able to get in the top positions on his slalom kit against the Dutch sailors on FW, however I would doubt he could ever win a race against the strong Dutch fleet. The comparison is "close", but FW still takes the cake.
It was the combined NK/BK-event on the Grevelingen beginning of may.
Ben vds (exocet WS80 - simmer 9.0) and also Belgians Wolfgang verlaeckt and Pascal somers entered with big slalom gear just for fun.
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Old 5th January 2009, 10:05 PM   #17
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I think SeanAus120 pretty much hit the nail on the head. However, I think water state plays a big role in comparisons between formula and slalom especially downwind.

I reflect back to a couple of US Open events a several years ago with winds hitting 30 knots in the shallow Corpus Christi bay. Chop was easily 1 meter plus with the waves very close together. Most of the pro and out of town sailors were on 9 or 10 meter sails (they didn't bring anything smaller), while the locals like me were on anything from 6.5 to 9.0.

I know I am being conservative when I estimate that the pro sailors were achieving close to 30 knots of board speed on the deep downwind runs. I hit 24.1 knots on my F147 with a 6.5 in the 2006 event (I have carried a gps & recorded all the stats on every outing for the last four years). I was getting blown away by the top sailors and I don't see how a slalom board could have maintained equivalent speed running over the backs of the huge chop while getting air and staying stable over almost every wave.

In flatter water, the big slalom boards will be very fast downwind, but I still recall back when formula first started and there was a good mix of course slalom and formula boards at the US Open. The course slalom boards just didn't have a chance even though the course that was being run was the old "M" type course that included upwind, downwind and reaching legs (to the benefit of the course slalom boards).

There are a lot of top sailors that do very impressive things on their boards, but watching guys hanging on to 9 m sails in 30 knots of wind in 1 m chop is truly amazing. If I hadn't been out there with them, I would not have believed it.
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Old 7th January 2009, 03:32 PM   #18
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Too right Ken!

What's even more impressive, is watching top sailors hang on to "11m" sails in +35 knots of wind!

- Antoine Albeau on 10.7m in the last race of the FW Worlds in Melbourne 2005: 35-40 knots with 2.5m bay swell;
- Steve Allen racing all week on 11m at the FW Australian Championships in Brisbane, 2008: 30-35 knots with 2.5-3m close together bay chop;
... just a few I can think of.

The top end wind speed ability of the ultra-top sailors on FW kit is actually bordering on insanity. Because the tail-widths of the FW boards have increased so much in the past few years the amount of leverage we have against the fin makes it easier to sail a FW board in high wind than it ever would be to sail large slalom kit.
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Old 7th January 2009, 09:23 PM   #19
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And the new sails with their wide leeche are much easier to handle than 2-3 years older ones in strong winds, plus the wider boards,
Formula became much easier to sail in rough conditions.
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